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With specific reference to Act 1, Scene 2 and Act 3, Scene 5

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With specific reference to Act 1, Scene 2 and Act 3, Scene 5, discuss the presentation of the relationship between Lord Capulet and Juliet and explore the way an audience might respond.

Throughout the “Romeo and Juliet” play, the relationship between Lord Capulet and Juliet appears to change dramatically. First Lord Capulet presents an angry figure of short-tempered authority when Juliet refuses to obey him, but at other times speaks to her lovingly. In act 1, scene 2, they show a close relationship with love and respect, whereas, by act 3, scene 5, their relationship changes, becoming one that appears hateful and mistrustful.

An audience in Shakespeare’s time would take this change as a very natural thing to have happened, and would most likely think that Lord Capulet was right to order his daughter to get married. However, a modern day audience would find this very shocking because in today’s society daughters are allowed to make their own decisions.

In Shakespeare’s time the relationship between a father and daughter was reasonable, caring and very strict.

In act 1, scene 2, County Paris wants to marry Juliet, but Capulet says,

“She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.”

Suggesting she is still only a child and hasn’t yet reached puberty, this implies that Capulet is caring towards Juliet. Capulet uses imagery about plant decay and ripening, he says,

“For a crop to reach maturity, care and nourishment is needed.”

So Paris should wait for two years, this is reasonable if Juliet has not yet matured into a young woman.

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Fathers in Elizabethan times would also have been very strict and authoritative, however, Capulet is portrayed differently, like a modern man is. Capulet is open-minded, he says to Paris,

“But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart.”

This means Capulet is giving Paris permission to make her fall in love with him. Capulet just wants the best for Juliet and is thinking ahead.

Young girls were given hardly any personal freedom, in fact, girls were taught their only function in life was to marry and have children. Girls were raised to obey their parents without question. In Elizabethan times, people believed that it was the duty of the father to control their daughters; in the same way that husbands were expected to control and guide their wives. Capulet’s power and containment is shown well in act 3, scene 5. Capulet gets very angry with Juliet who has just told him that she does not want to marry Paris. Capulet says,

“What is this?”

The question used by Capulet shows his anger, but also his control of the situation. Capulet and Juliet’s relationship is completely different from act 1, scene 2, because before he was a devoted loving father, but in this scene he hates Juliet, so his feelings have changed from earlier. Capulet is ashamed at his daughter and keeps wondering if she’s not proud, he feels like she has disobeyed him.

A Shakespearian audience would be shocked by Capulet’s behaviour and attitude towards Juliet, and also his reaction to Paris’ request of marriage. Back in Elizabethan times when someone as rich and powerful as Paris requests to marry their daughter, normally they would agree without considering their daughters feelings and opinions. It was unusual for a woman to choose her own partner. But Capulet wanted Juliet to have a say in her future because she was his only hope and he didn’t want to loose her. Read examples of lack of communication in Romeo and Juliet

A modern day audience watching act 1, scene 2 would think Capulet was a powerful man who had charge over Juliet and everyone else, especially of Juliet as he is very protective of her. He has a very close relationship with his daughter as he is letting her decide whether she wants Paris or not. Capulet is a modern man and appears very normal to a modern day audience as he is giving Juliet a choice, Capulet quotes,

“An she agree within her scope of choice.”

He wants it to be up to Juliet by allowing her to agree. Capulet clearly shows the audience he wants the best for Juliet, just like any loving modern man does.

In act 1, scene 2, Paris is asking Capulet for his daughters hand in marriage. The tone of the scene is friendly but serious as Capulet is being protective of Juliet and he sounds concerned for her. Paris is happy even when he could have been angry when he says, “Younger than she are happy mothers made.”

This scene has a sense of seriousness, a bit of concern and a positive attitude. There is also a bit of a sense of expectation. Capulet shows his pride, friendship and even power,

“For men so old as we to keep the peace.”

This is demonstrating Capulet’s virtue, dominance and ascendancy. Capulet is more powerful and in control because he is over protective of his daughter, Juliet. Capulet thus has power over Paris, and also Capulet is taller. Capulet says,

“But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,”

This shows his in command of the situation, because he is telling Paris what to do.

Capulet uses different language to describe Juliet and his feelings for her,

“The earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she.”

He means that Juliet is his only hope in the world. This also shows he has strong feelings for her, and that he does really care about her. Capulet talks about Juliet as if she is his possession,

“My child is yet a stranger in the world.”

This demonstrates Capulet’s competency over Juliet and also that she is young and vulnerable. Additionally suggesting he does worry about Juliet and it could also mean he is proud of her as its like he owns her. Later on he also quotes,

“She hath not seen the change in 14 years.”

Meaning she has not yet reached puberty and she is not yet a woman. Again this shows a caring fatherly side to Capulet.

Capulet doesn’t want Juliet to marry Paris; he gives a few reasons for this. Firstly he says, “My child.”

Suggesting that she is only young and very vulnerable. Then he goes on to say,

“She hath not seen the change in fourteen years.”

Implying that she has not yet reached puberty and she is not quite a woman yet. This shows Capulet is a very caring character and he keeps repeating the fact that he thinks it’s too early, again implying he wants the best for her.

The tone of the scene is calm and serious. Capulet speaks in rhyming couplets,

“An she agree, within her scope of choice, lies my consent and fair according voice.”

By speaking in rhyming couplets Capulet is demonstrating his power and control of Juliet, the situation and over Paris. I think the tone and content of this scene would create a sense of false security for both audiences, because they would expect Capulet to be in control.

Between act 1, scene 2 and act 3, scene 5 the following events happen. Firstly Lady Capulet informs Juliet about her arranged marriage to Paris. While this is happening, Romeo has a dream; a bad one where he thinks something is going to happen to him. To cheer himself up he takes a pill. Back at the Capulet’s house, there is a party going on, which Romeo becomes aware of and agrees to go to get a glimpse at Rosaline. In the Capulet’s mansion, Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time, they confess their undying love for each other, and then are informed by the nurse that they are worst enemies. Juliet quotes,

“My only love sprung from my only hate.”

Romeo and Juliet are later married by Friar Lawrence.

The next event that leads us up to act 3 scene 5 is the two murders. First Tybalt kills Mercutio and because of this Romeo kills Tybalt. Romeo is then banished and has to make a quick escape before he is found. Juliet cries for a number of reasons, she is mourning over her cousin’s death but most importantly because she misses Romeo and feels hopeless about the future of her marriage. Capulet quotes,

“Sailing in this salt flood; the winds, thy sighs;”

Capulet is giving fatherly words of comfort, because he thinks Juliet is grieving over her cousin Tybalt’s death, when in fact she is distraught about Romeo. Being the affectionate father Capulet is, he brings the wedding forward. Capulet is unaware that Juliet has married Romeo or has anything to do with him. Juliet cannot tell Capulet because Romeo is a Montague and both families are worst enemies.

At the beginning of act 3, scene 5 Capulet appears confident and offers fatherly abundance to Juliet.

“How now! A conduit, girl? What, still in tears?”

This quote emphasises how distraught Juliet is, he uses water imagery for effect and compares Juliet’s tears to a water pipe or fountain. This quote is also a metaphor and is catchy to an audience.

Throughout the first part of the scene he continues to describe how upset Juliet is.

“When the sun sets, the air doth drizzle dew.”

Again Capulet is talking about Juliet being upset, this quote stands out because it uses alliteration.

Later in this scene Capulet quotes,

“Have you deliver’d to her our decree?”

“Decree” is like an order or a suggestion, it’s Capulet’s plan to marry Juliet and Paris on Thursday. This is when Capulet’s behaviour changes to an angry and controlling manner and he looses his temper with Juliet, because Lady Capulet replies that Juliet is not thankful for the arranged marriage. When Capulet enters his tone is light and he shows fatherly concern for Juliet’s tears, which he assumes are for Tybalt. The image of a storm that he conjures up is ironic for, any minute now, a storm is about to erupt between Capulet and Juliet about the wedding arrangements.

Shakespeare uses rhythm to communicate Capulet’s anger and confusion, for example,

“How now, how now, chop-logic! What is this?”

Shakespeare uses exclamation marks mainly in Capulet’s speech to emphasise his rage at Juliet. He also uses question marks in Capulet’s speech to show his annoyance and who is in control. He could of also used them to show his confusion and that Capulet is trying to find something out.

During the scene Capulet’s use of pronouns referring to Juliet, have changed from “mine” and “my” to “she” and “her”. This highlights how ashamed he is of his daughter and he keeps wondering if she’s not proud. He feels like Juliet has disobeyed him.

Capulet goes on to compare Juliet to a puppet,

“A whining mammet.”

This creates a sense of seriousness that Capulet is not messing around as he is threatening to control her like a puppet if she does not obey him. This now suggests that Capulet does not care about what Juliet wants or what happens to her. He insults Juliet a number of times,

“Fettle you fine joints.”

This expression comes from grooming a horse, it means get yourself ready or I’ll force you. Capulet shows his power over Juliet by telling her that she will get married whatever happens or they will dress her.

The tone of this scene is very choler, this is portrayed best by the lack of full stops that Capulet has in his speech. Also he uses short, sharp, snappy sentences to show his temper and how fuming he is.

“You tallow-face!”

This is another one of Capulet’s insults, it means pale or waxy. This is a very emotional scene; it is also created this way by the amount of punctuation and no pauses used.

A modern audience and a Shakespearian audience would react quite differently to Capulet’s behaviour in this scene. A Shakespearian audience would be really alarmed at Juliet’s bad behaviour, because she is arguing back,

“Proud can I never be of what I hate.”

This type of audience would find Juliet’s behaviour very rude and inappropriate. Maybe they would think it was unpleasant and abnormal because in the Elizabethan times daughters were meant to abide to their parent’s wishes. A modern day audience would find Capulet’s behaviour really unacceptable, because she was only thirteen and Capulet was being really harsh.

“And yet “not proud,” mistress minion, you,”

Here Capulet calls Juliet a spoilt brat, notice also that this is alliteration. This audience would find Capulet immoral and be disgusted at his attitude towards Juliet. The way he insults Juliet is abominable, he even threatens to hit her. The two different audiences would have very different opinions because in our days fathers are not meant to be aggressive and controlling. However, a Shakespearian audience would find Capulet normal, and would expect Juliet to get shouted at for disobeying her father.

Shakespeare’s use of rhyme and rhythm has changed considerably from act 1, scene 2 and act 3, scene 5 in order to create a change in mood. In act 1, scene 2 Shakespeare uses rhyming couplets, which are designed, to stand out as they are on the last two lines on most sentences. They are very significant in Capulet’s speech, they demonstrate his power and authority over Juliet, of the situation and over Paris. However, in act 3, scene 5 there is no rhyme used, this is because Capulet is furious with Juliet and is insulting her.

The rhyming couplets in act 1, scene 2 have an effect on the audience. By using rhyme in Capulet’s speech, Shakespeare is creating a sense of command on Capulet’s behalf. The rhyme used also creates a happy atmosphere, like everything is perfect and Capulet talks about nothing bad. On the other hand, in Capulet’s later speeches there is a lack of rhyme, but a lot of punctuation. This is to show the mood has changed and Capulet is extremely infuriated. The audience will notice this change and will react differently from earlier.

In act 1, scene 2 there isn’t much punctuation used, just a few commas where Capulet and Paris are talking to each other in a serious and friendly presence. In the later scene, there are very few pauses and a lot of exclamation marks and question marks. This change in punctuation affects the flow of words in line with their meaning. In the first scene, it is slow and the pace is controllable. Whereas in act 3, scene 5 there is lots of short sharp sentences, which are very snappy to show Capulet has lost his temper.

Capulet’s acrimony and confusion is shown by the amount of exclamation marks and question marks used by Shakespeare in the speech,

“Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!”

The exclamation marks are used to emphasise his displeasure with Juliet. The question marks also show his anger, but also that he is confused and is trying to find something out. These devices would encourage the audience to feel the characters frustration and outrage in the situation.

Lord Capulet’s relationship with his daughter Juliet has changed dramatically from the beginning to the end of the play. Juliet’s father is a wealthy, elderly man who is used to having his own way. Capulet is quite a difficult character to assess because his behaviour seems so contradictory. He can be an affectionate father and a hearty host but if crossed, his temper is quick and violent. When Juliet is an obedient daughter, he is kind and protective towards her. But when she refuses to obey him, he will explode. He considers Juliet his own property to do with, as he likes.

“My Child,”

Suggesting he is in control of Juliet. Capulet appears to think Juliet is too young to marry and tries to put Paris off when he asks for her hand. But later he suddenly agrees to the marriage and even brings the date forward, with disastrous results. He rages at Juliet when she shows reluctance to marry Paris and embodies the conventional, unfeeling world in which the lovers find themselves.

At the beginning of the play, Juliet, who is not quite fourteen years old, is an obedient and conventional upper-class daughter who accepts her father’s wishes that she marry Paris. When she falls in love with Romeo she changes. She started to show a very practical side to her character and proved to be determined and independent-minded. She is intelligent and perceptive, probably even more so than Romeo. Juliet is utterly loyal to Romeo and defies the whole world for him. Juliet is selfish for not considering anyone’s feelings when she married Romeo, but her own. She knew Capulet was trying hard to find her a perfect husband, and yet she jumped right in at the chance to be with Romeo. Nevertheless, she shows she is serious about her love to Romeo, as she is prepared to take a dangerous drug to fake her death so that she can escape to be with him. She accepts death willingly at the end of the play, when fate has destroyed their lives.

Capulet’s relationship with Juliet changes quite suddenly when Juliet refuses to marry Paris. Capulet blows up and can only see Juliet’s ingratitude for all the effort they feel they have put into getting her such a good match. Here is when Capulet flies into a terrible rage at Juliet and tells her she is a traitor and will marry Paris even if he has to drag her to the church on a “hurdle”, which is a wooden frame used to draw traitors through the street to their execution. Capulet’s relationship quickly deteriorates from this moment; as he goes on to tell Juliet that she will never look him in the face again if she disobeys him. Capulet says,

“Fingers itch.”

So he wants to strike her and is hinting at the violent anger he is just managing to contain. He tells her she may beg and starve in the streets before he will have her disobey him. Capulet’s behaviour was wrong, as he was tyrannical.

The modern audience would have more sympathy towards Juliet, because in today’s world fathers are very close to their daughters and don’t worry too much about who they marry. Also they wouldn’t shout at their children like Capulet does, or threaten to disown them. A Shakespearian audience would have the most understanding of Capulet, because they would know where his coming from. This is because back in the Elizabethan times daughters were meant to obey their fathers without arguing, however Juliet stuck up for herself and more importantly for her rights.

The relationship between Capulet and Juliet at the beginning of the play was very normal because Capulet was more of a modern man. However, towards the end Capulet was really harsh towards Juliet, who was only thirteen. Juliet didn’t deserve to be insulted as many times as she was, because as her father had already said, she was young and vulnerable, and also hadn’t yet reached puberty. Although it was wrong of Capulet to persistently react the way he did, some of the blame has to be on Juliet. Capulet had worked very hard to find a good match for her, he offered her a handsome gentleman from a good family and she refused. Therefore Capulet rages at Juliet when she shows reluctance to marry Paris and embodies herself in a conventional and unfeeling world in which the lovers find themselves. Only at the end of the play, when he mourns for his daughter’s death, does he seem a sympathetic character once more.

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With specific reference to Act 1, Scene 2 and Act 3, Scene 5. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/specific-reference-act-1-scene-2-act-3-scene-5-new-essay

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